Using OpenSees for Performance-Based Evaluation of Bridges on Liquefiable Soils, PEER Report 2008-07


By virtue of their locations, bridges that cross bodies of water are particularly likely to be damaged by lateral spreading of liquefied soils. The behavior of these soils can cause unusual forms of seismic demands on bridges and their foundations, ranging from rapid modifications of input motion amplitudes and frequency contents to high levels of kinematic loading associated with permanent deformations of the supporting soils. This report describes the application of the PEER methodology of performance-based earthquake engineering to a bridge structure founded on liquefiable soils. In this investigation, the response of the soil-foundation-structure system was computed using detailed nonlinear inelastic analyses. The computer program, OpenSees, was used to model liquefiable and non-liquefiable soils, pile foundations , abutments, and the bridge superstructure. The detailed model enabled direct prediction of the response of critical bridge elements, hence the more accurate estimation of resulting physical damage and loss. The report presents a detailed description of the site, the analytical model and its validation, the computed response under various loading conditions, and the resulting damage and loss estimates. The response and losses under
conditions where the bridge is supported on non-liquefiable soils and on rock are also computed and compared with the liquefaction case.

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Steven L. Kramer
Pedro Arduino
HyungSuk Shin
Publication date: 
November 1, 2008
Publication type: 
Technical Report
Kramer, S. L., Arduino, P., & Shin, H. (2008). Using OpenSees for Performance-Based Evaluation of Bridges on Liquefiable Soils, PEER Report 2008-07. Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA.